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  1. #1
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    What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    Maybe it's only me, but I certainly have been noticing a new trend. I have noticed in the media, news and talk shows the mispronunciation of words containing "str".

    There seems to be a trend to pronounce str as though it is spelled shtr. Example: We are shtruggling to clean up the Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Our own First Lady seems to do it a lot. I have also noticed it a lot on local news as well as national news.

    Where did this come from? It drives me crazy everytime I hear it.

    Big Bruce

  2. #2
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    It could simply be that it requires less effort to articulate- there less movement of the tongue.

  3. #3
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    Or it could be the result of an electronic filter applied to remove pops from a compressed audio format.

  4. #4
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    Interesting- it's easy to forget that sound is relative and subject to changes with formats.

  5. #5
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    konungursvia has a very good point. I actually do a lot of mixing and mastering of music recordings and frequently a compressor is used to deaden the hiss of S's and the punches from T's, P's, etc. It just happens that in a recording these often come across harshly and can be very distracting from the material (because of the amount of air being pushed into the microphone by those sounds). Compression could definitely cause St to be deadened and sound somewhat more like Sht.

    Additionally, in my opinion I feel that in pronunciation the Str cluster nearly always has at least some shtr character to it. It sounds "shtrange" to try to make it completely into an S. Your tongue is already headed forward to strike the T sound and then to pull back and bend up into the R, which to me resembles the formation of an SH a little bit, so I feel it'd take extra effort to fully remove any Sh character.

    Maybe that's just me.

  6. #6
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dacre View Post

    Additionally, in my opinion I feel that in pronunciation the Str cluster nearly always has at least some shtr character to it. It sounds "shtrange" to try to make it completely into an S. Your tongue is already headed forward to strike the T sound
    That's strange. Both /s/ and /t/ are alveolar consonants.
    If anything the tip of the tongue for /s/ is slightly forward, and must move back onto the alveolar ridge for /t/ and keeps moving back for /r/.
    On the other hand, 'sh' / ʃ/ is post-alveolar.
    I can see how "schrange" could be made though, but here the 'sh' comes after the /t/ - /stʃr/, where /tʃ/ is 'ch'.
    But that could be me too.

  7. #7
    Tdol is offline Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Re: What is happening with the pronunciation of STR words?

    Some people in the UK with an 'upper class drawl' can say 'shtrange'.

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